Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment Products for the Body and Scalp

Dermatologist's treatment tips for body and scalp dandruff

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common rash that can involve the skin of the scalp, face, and body. On the scalp, it is called dandruff. On the body, seborrhea can involve the upper chest and back, and can also occur in the skin folds of the groin and elsewhere.

What are the signs and symptoms that you have scalp and body seborrhea?

Scalp dandruff is characterized by flakey and dry scale. The skin eventually becomes red. The dandruff may be patchy or extensive. Skin itches and may feel oily. There may be tender and itchy pimples too. The ears may have crust and scale in the folds. 

Body dandruff often is subtler. Patchy subtle red skin on the upper back and chest is covered with flakes. It often does not itch. Seborrhea can involve the body folds under the arms, breast, groin and buttocks. Here the skin is red and there is little scale due to sweat and moisture that is present in skin folds. 

In my dermatology practice, I see a lot of patients who think their scaly, red skin is “dry skin” but it is actually seborrhea. Seborrheic dermatitis is so common that almost everyone will suffer with it at some point in their life.  

Why do people get seborrhea and can it be cured?

Unfortunately, no. There is no cure for seborrhea and we don’t even understand entirely why a person gets this common rash. We do know that a normal skin yeast called Pityrosporum is seen to grow more abundantly in skin affected by seborrhea.

Dermatologist explains the best treatment for scalp and body seborrhea?

While there is no cure for seborrhea, the good news is that you can control your seborrhea with the right complete skin care routine.  Here are the important points you need to know to treat seborrheic dermatitis:

  1. Medicated cleansers and shampoos are the best way to treat seborrhea. They work for scalp dandruff and body seborrhea. They clean the skin and leave a layer of medicine behind to treat the problem. Pyrithione zinc is my favorite medicated cleanser and shampoo ingredient. For the scalp, I like the lather massaged onto the skin with a Scalp Scrubber. Body later is best applied with a Salux Cloth or shower brush. The products I use in my practice include Foaming Zinc ™ Cleanser and Calming Zinc ™ Soap.  Other ingredients for non-facial areas include shampoos with salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, tar, ketoconazole, and prescription ciclopirox. Because seborrhea is a form of eczema, other skin care and hair care products should be gentle and non-irritating until the rash has healed. 
  2. For thick, crusty scalp scale, pretreating skin with oil for 30 minutes before cleansing or shampooing really helps. Use coconut oil, mineral oil, olive oil or any other oil. Wet the skin, towel dry, apply the oil, then wait 30 minutes or more. Shampoo or cleanse off the oil, and as a last lather use your medicated shampoo or soap.
  3. For stubborn seborrhea, I have my patients use clotrimazole cream twice a day until the rash is clear, plus a month or so. 1% hydrocortisone cream on top of the clotrimazole is helpful if the rash won’t budge, but this medicine has side effects, including skin thinning at the application site. It should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.

Find products here that I use to treat seborrhea of the scalp and body in my practice. I also have hypoallergenic products on this page that are good for general skin care of seborrhea-prone skin. If you have facial seborrhea too, please see my facial care products and information for seborrhea.



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  1. Dr. Bailey's Foaming Zinc Cleanser™

    Foaming Zinc™ Cleanser

    2% Zinc Pyrithione is my 'secret ingredient' that is forgotten in other acne treatments. It combats the skin yeast germ called pityrosporum. I find this germ to be the most common cause of acne on the back and chest.

  2. Dr. Bailey's Calming Zinc Soap

    Calming Zinc™

    My favorite skin cleanser for facial redness and yeast acne! Naturally healing, unbelievably hydrating, and powerfully fortified with a full 2% pyrithione zinc to help solve your skin problems.

  3. Scalp Scrubber

    Scalp Scrubber

    A plastic scalp scrubber is a highly effective way to deep clean your scalp and to help control dandruff, 'dry scalp' and pimples on the scalp.
  4. Salux Wash Cloth

    Salux Wash Cloth

    Have smooth skin instantly! This long exfoliating wash cloth is now my favorite way to physically exfoliate skin on the body.

  5. Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion™

    Elegant and light-textured, natural moisturizer for dry to normal sensitive skin.
  6. Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    Natural Face and Body Butter Cream™

    Highly Effective moisturizer to heal your extremely dry and sensitive skin.
  7. Naturally Best Bar Soap for Dry Skin™

    Naturally Best Bar Soap for All Skin Types™

    Unscented, glycerin-rich soap made with healing oats for your dry and sensitive skin.
  8. Dr. Bailey's 100% Natural Ultra-Hypoallergenic Shower Gel

    100% Natural Ultra-Hypoallergenic Shower Gel

    An entirely unscented and dermatologist approved shower gel for even the most highly sensitive skin. Economical and perfect for the entire family.

  9. Vanicream Free & Clear Conditioner

    Vanicream Free & Clear Conditioner

    Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic conditioner for extremely sensitive skin, eczema and skin allergies. Non-medicated, preservative and gluten-free conditioner that leaves hair feeling clean and healthy. Great for the entire family. 

  10. Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo

    Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo

    Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic shampoo for extremely sensitive skin, eczema and skin allergies. Non-medicated, preservative and gluten-free shampoo that leaves hair clean and manageable. 

  11. Back Applicator

    Back Applicator

    Not everyone has flexible shoulders and the Back Applicator reaches where the shoulders can't.

  12. Back Applicator Refill Sponges

    Back Applicator Refill Sponges

    Each packet contains 2 replacement sponges.

  13. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    At last, an ultra-light sunscreen spray that’s pure mineral protection with micro (not nano) zinc oxide for the best anti-aging broad spectrum protection. 

  14. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Non-greasy natural non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen for every day sun protection. This is a lovely natural mineral sunscreen made with organic ingredients - and it's not just for babies!

  15. Dr. Bailey's Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40

    Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40

    My favorite every day sunscreen! I wear it every day on my face, neck and chest! It gives a great matte finish that's SPF 40 and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

  16. Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen

    Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen

    My favorite sunscreen for sports, swimming and sweaty activities. Solbar Zinc provides protection for up to 80 minutes in the water with its hefty 7.5% mineral zinc oxide combined with other chemical sunscreen agents. Oil free and shouldn't aggravate acne.

  17. SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    The best dermatologist recommended mineral sunscreen products for everyday protection. This kit includes Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 for the face, ears, and neck, along with Solbar Zinc Sunscreen SPF 38 for the chest, hands, and other areas that need sun protection.

    Regular Price: $48.00

    Special Price $43.20

  18. SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    The Ultimate Sun Protection Kit provides everything you'll need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.This kit includes Sun Guard Laundry Treatment, UV Ray Detecto Ring, Vanicream Lip Protectant, Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen and Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 and a mesh travel bag for your products.

    Regular Price: $62.50

    Special Price $56.00

  19. Sun Guard Clothing Treatment

    Sun Guard Clothing Treatment

    Turn everyday clothing into sun protection garments. Wearing sun protective clothing is essential for comprehensive, complete sun protection of your skin!

  20. Women's Sun Protection Bucket Hats

    Women's Sun Protection Bucket Hats

    Lightweight, cool, and breathable cloth UPF 50 sun protection hats. Get in the habit of wearing this broad−brimmed hat along with your broad spectrum sunscreen − proven effective in the prevention of skin cancer and premature aging. Fits your head perfectly with its clever, adjustable inner brim cord. Highly packable too and makes a great gift!

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